Thursday, April 2, 2015

The best for Azlan Shah Cup..

THE Azlan Shah Cup will see all six teams fielding their best players after a long lapse, as preparations for the World League Semi-finals in Belgium and Argentina enter high gear.
  Malaysia, Australia and India will be playing in the World League Semi-finals in Belgium, while Canada, New Zealand and South Korea in the Argentina qualifier.
  Three teams each from both the Semi-finals are confirmed qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics, but with double qualification from continental tournaments, even finishing fifth can take a team to Ria de Janeiro.
  "I expect tough matches as every team will be fielding their best players in preparation for the WL Semi-finals. As hosts, of course we will aim to play in the final, but my end target is getting ready for the WL Semis," said Malaysian coach Tai Beng Hai.
  Malaysia were finalists in the last two editions, but lost both 3-2 and 8-3 to Australia.
  World No 1 Australia are again the favourites, with Asian Games champions India also the team to beat for the second finals ticket.
   World League Round Two Best Player and Top Scorer with 12 goals Faizal Saari received a lifeline, even though he missed two months of trainig after failing to received promised match bonuses since last year.
  "We have selected the best available, and all the players are injury free. There are no easy teams in this tournament, and so I expect high quality hockey from all my players like they showed in Singapore," said Beng Hai.
  FIXTURES: Sunday -- Australia v Canada (4pm), South Korea v India (6pm), Malaysia v New Zealand (8pm).
  April 6: Canada v South Korea (4pm), New Zealand v India (6pm), Malaysia v Australia (8pm).
  April 7: REST DAY.
  April 8: Canada v New Zealand (4pm), South Korea v Australia (6pm), Malaysia v India (8pm).
  April 9: REST DAY.
  April 10: Australia v India (4pm), South Korea v New Zealand (6pm), Malaysia v Canada (8pm).
  MALAYSIA: Goalkeepers: Roslan Jamaluddin (191 caps), S. Kumar (242); Azreen Rizal (51), Baljit Singh (164), Marhan Jalil (139), Izwan Firdaus (82), Haziq Shamsul (11), Faizal Saari (138), Shahrun Nabil (218), Sukri Mutalib (211), Firhan Ashaari (64), Azlan Misron (336), Nabil Fiqri (140), Razie Rahim (167), Faiz Helmi (51), Meor Azuan (23), Tengku Ahmad Tajudin (192), Ahmad Kazamirul (27), Ramadan Rosli (39), Izad Hakimi (46).